Same result, different day for French Open champion Rafael Nadal

Her destiny is realised’ – the moment Halep won her maiden Grand Slam

Her destiny is realised’ – the moment Halep won her maiden Grand Slam

Rafael Nadal has won his 11th French Open title thanks to a straight-sets victory over Dominic Thiem.

In an interview yesterday, Nadal said, he will have to "play his best" to beat Dominic Thiem in Sunday's French Open final and secure an 11th Roland Garros title.

Nadal has never lost a best-of-five-set match on clay when he has won the first set, and every time Thiem has faced the world number one the victor of the first set has gone on to take the match.

The Austrian - competing in his first grand slam final after a pair of semifinal showings in Paris - needed to win the first set to have any realistic opportunity of ending Nadal's reign.

He is now three grand slam titles short of Roger Federer, the pair having shared the past six slam titles between them.

"It's incredible now, I can't describe my feelings", Nadal told the crowd on Philippe Chatrier Court moments after capturing his 17th Grand Slam trophy with a 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory.

The signs were already ominous for Thiem at that stage because in 112 best-of-five-set matches, Nadal had never lost after taking the first set.

Nadal celebrated in relatively low key fashion, but then there is not much novelty value in this.

Others highlighted Nadal's remarkable record at Roland Garros since first winning the title there in 2005. "I don't know", Toni Nadal said. "When someone wins 11 times here, for me it's unbelievable", he told reporters.

Thiem is the only man to have beaten Nadal on clay over the past two seasons, including a surprise victory in the Madrid Open quarter-finals last month, but there was no repeat shock on Court Philippe Chatrier as the top seed prevailed 6-4 6-3 6-2. He is, however, the second player overall to win a major 11 times after Australia's Margaret Court, who won four of her 11 Australian Open titles after the start of the Open Era in 1968.

Understandably, Thiem looked edgy as the match begun and he managed to win only one of the first eight points as Nadal, cheered loudly when he walked on court, bristled with intent.

Thiem dug in - especially in the roughly 13-minute sixth game - but he crumbled attempting to stay in the set, making four unforced errors.

That was swatted away with Nadal's double-handed backhand, though, and the second set duly went the way of the favourite.

Years ago, Rafael Nadal earned the nickname the "King of Clay" for a reason.

The score may have looked rather routine but there was some drama in the third set when Nadal called for the trainer at 2-1, 30-0.

Nadal was rampant when he broke early in the second, but Thiem raised his game to force a break point when Nadal served at 4-2 - a game in which the Spaniard was warned for slow play. Nadal is 49-2 since 2017 when playing on clay.

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